How, in just five months, British politics has turned itself completely upside down
Labour are 'strong and stable' while the Tories are in chaos
Today marks the five-month anniversary since Theresa May and her Tory party lost their majority in the general election. Having spent the entire campaign robotically churning out the same tired slogan of ‘Strong and Stable’ while simultaneously attacking Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party as being a source of weakness, more and more of the country came to realise that in fact, maybe the opposite was true.
There’s been a total reversal of the prevailing political narrative; it’s now the Labour party that genuinely offers the country strength and stability. While the Tories are still in power, we’re living in the political Upside Down (is that you Barb?)
Voters began to see that we don’t have to accept the Tory reign defined by constant cuts and an explosion of food banks across the country. And since the election, the Conservatives have simply lurched from one disaster to another. The Maybot has now completely malfunctioned; there’s steam coming out her ears, her wheels have fallen off and she’s just repeatedly slamming into a wall in the corner of her office at No. 10.
As Boris Johnson and Priti Patel go completely off the rails exactly five months after the day of the election, here’s a list of the most embarrassing moments that have crippled this shambles of a Tory government:
1. Grubby deal with the DUP
From the start, Theresa May began her new government with a seedy deal to cling on to power. She jumped into bed with Northern Ireland’s DUP (which would genuinely not be out of place next to the ‘God Hates Fags’ Westboro Baptist Church). And after infamously telling a nurse she couldn’t have a pay rise because there’s no ‘magic money tree’ she somehow found £1 BILLION to sweeten a power-sharing deal.
2. Awful response to the Grenfell Tower disaster
The absolutely heartbreaking disaster at Grenfell was made worse by the slow response from this government. Victims and their families were left to fend for themselves as ministers simply turned a blind eye. When the PM finally made a visit to the site, she was heckled and chased away.
3. Time for a holiday, but who’s in charge? Who cares!
As the country will still reeling from the Grenfell disaster, Theresa May thought it was the perfect time for another walking holiday to Europe. (Anyone else remember the walking holiday on Snowdonia with her husband when she decided to call a general election? I do! I love having important national decisions decided on the side of a mountain!) Anyway, on this summer’s trip she left her cabinet fighting among themselves and no-one knew who was in charge in her place. According to the Guardian: “Downing Street refused to say who would be the senior cabinet minister in charge in the UK.”
4. Tory Party conference clusterfuck
Ah, the Tory party conference. What a beautiful/tragic piece of performance art it was. I don’t need to remind you about everything from the P45 interruption to the coughing fit to the letters literally falling off the stage because I know you all remember it.
Until now, the Brexit negotiations have proved to be a totally unmitigated disaster. David Davis has failed to reach any significant milestones and the government has been ordered to release their Brexit impact studies. This is the most important political moment in generations and the government is failing. Pure and simple.
6. Michael Fallon’s resignation
Coming in the wake of a much-needed cultural and societal conversation about sexual harassment and assault, defence secretary Michael Fallon was the most senior government minister to fall. The allegations are still ongoing and they affect all parties. But the Tories knew how to make the situation worse for themselves by having an internal fight over what Andrea Leadsom did or didn’t say and by replacing Fallon with the loathed Alan Partridge impersonator Gavin Williamson.
7. Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson enjoys pissing people off because he knows he’ll always get away with it. It probably wasn’t a slip of the tongue when he joked that a Libyan city could become the next Dubai if they simply “clear the dead bodies away”. He revels in his untouchable privilege and inherited wealth. And that’s why he’ll more than likely get away with his latest howler when he said the imprisoned British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been training journalists in the country. He doesn’t care that his remark could now worsen her sentence because it won’t affect him. Theresa May’s too weak to get rid of him and for a man like Boris nothing really matters.
8. Priti Patel’s secret Israel trips
In a final bizarre development, international development secretary Priti Patel suggested that some of Britain’s aid budget should go to the Israeli army in secret meetings in the country – including one with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Her resignation, and the fall of this whole ramshackle government, appears thankfully imminent.